October 5, 2010

1. Call to Order

Chair Margery Overton called the meeting to order at 3 p.m.

Chair Overton welcomed everyone to the meeting.  She stated that this is not just an opportunity to have faculty get together, but an opportunity to have direct input into the strategic planning process on faculty excellence.

2. Approval of the Minutes of the March 23, 2010 General Faculty Meeting

Secretary Hergeth asked for approval of the minutes.  The motion to approve the minutes passed unanimously.

3. Remarks from Chancellor Woodson

Chancellor Woodson thanked everyone for attending the meeting and for thinking about Faculty Excellence as a part of the strategic planning process.

Chancellor Woodson stated that he started the process and he has every intention of finishing it with the faculty’s help.  The rationale being that he thinks NC State is clearly one of the outstanding public institutions in the country but has a lot of potential to be even more outstanding if we focus our resources in strategic areas to help the university to be one of the best in the country.

Chancellor Woodson stated that he was probably one of the most skeptical faculty members you could imagine when it came to strategic planning, but he saw at another university how very bold statements about where you want to go and how you want to get there transformed the place in terms of putting resources behind our plans, putting plans into action, and actually making a difference for the university.  I know this can be successful if we can come up with real strategic goals that can be measured and can be invested in by the university so we can move NC State forward.  At the end of the day universities are really built on the strength of the faculty, and if you can’t recruit and retain the best faculty in the country you have no chance of being among the best universities in the country.  Faculty is the heart and soul of an institution and I say that, knowing full well that this place cannot function without dedicated and committed staff or without brilliant students. Because at the end of the day that is what we are trying to do: turn out a great product in the students that we produce, and we cannot do that without the critical support of our staff.

The academic credentials of the institution are built on the strength of the faculty so faculty excellence should be at the heart of this plan and I look forward to everyone getting into the middle of this discussion today.

4. Remarks from Interim Provost Arden

Provost Arden stated as co-chair he is very pleased at the way things are moving along with the strategic planning process.  The discussion today on Faculty Excellence is very important.  Irrespective of what we do in the rest of our strategic plan, most of it can not be accomplished without a strong, vigorous, and an enabled faculty.  So this is a very important discussion, and getting the input from the faculty about how we can address the issue to move this forward is going to be critically important.  One of the things that we are trying to do is align some of our already scheduled or occurring events with the strategic planning process, so I’m grateful to the Faculty Senate for having this session on faculty excellence during our Fall General Faculty Meeting today.  Tomorrow we have a budget forum at 10:30 a.m. in Stewart Theater.  There are going to be other events such as the Graduate Students Symposium. If we can interface a lot of these recurring events with the planning process I think it will strengthen the planning process.

Provost Arden introduced the leaders of the Faculty Excellence Task Force as

Trudy Mackay (co-chair)
William Neal Reynolds Distinguished University Professor of Genetics
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Dan Solomon (co-chair)
College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

5. Faculty Excellence Task Force Committee

Dean Solomon introduced members of the task force that were present.  The complete membership list of the task force includes:

Diane Beckman
Teaching Assistant Professor, Foreign Languages And Literatures
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Georgia Bizios
Professor, Architecture
College of Design

Betsy Brown
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Office of Faculty Development

Bob Brown
College of Natural Resources

Barbara Carroll
Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
Office of Finance & Business

Katherine Carroll
Assistant Professor, Textile and Apparel Technology and Management
College of Textiles

Jere Confrey
Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education
College of Education

Jessica DeCuir-Gunby
Associate Professor, Curriculum, Instruction and Counselor Education
College of Education

Anita Flick
Teaching Assistant Professor, Biology
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Christine Grant
Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Special Initiatives
College of Engineering

Tony Harrison
Department Head, English
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Chris McGahan
Department Head, Molecular Biomedical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine

Donna Petherbridge
Associate Vice Provost for Instructional Support Services
Distance Education & Learning Technology Applications

Laura Taylor
Professor, Agricultural & Resource Economics
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Paul Williams
Professor, Accounting
College of Management

Dean Solomon explained that the Task Force is charged to identify challenges to achieving faculty excellence, to propose goals to strive for over the next ten years, to recommend broad strategies and significant initiatives to undertake in pursuit of those goals, and to identify metrics by which we can monitor progress for those goals.

Dean Solomon stated that in their taskforce as all others we are going to want to pick a few key areas that have the potential to have a major impact, what overarching strategic planning committees are referring to as game changes.   We have been encouraged to be bold and to recognize that bold recommendations are not going to satisfy everyone.

Dean Solomon stated that the purpose of today’s meeting is to help the task force select those key areas on which to focus our attention.  We have prepared four questions for you to discuss in small groups with each group focusing on one of the questions.   There is a second open ended question that we would also like for you to address.

Each group was asked to choose a recorder to take notes on the discussion.  The notes will be collected and transcribed at the end of the session to share with other members of the task force.

The discussions lasted approximately twenty minutes and each group was asked to report the top ideas from their table.

Following introductory remarks by co-chair Solomon, attendees gathered at 11 tables, each labeled A, B, C, or D to discuss respectively, four questions about faculty excellence:

A. How do we enable faculty excellence? What is it, and how do we measure it?

B. How do we become more competitive in recruiting and retaining faculty?

C. How do we determine an appropriate mix of faculty (Tenure track vs. Non-Tenure track, Junior vs. Senior, Demographic Diversity)?

D. How do we determine an appropriate mix of responsibilities for Tenure-track faculty (teaching/research/engagement/service)? For Non-Tenure track faculty (teaching/research/engagement/service)?

Each table also discussed the common, open-ended question:

What key issues related to faculty excellence have not been raised in the questions above?

Reporters at each table reported, to the full body, the highlights of those conversations. Notes were taken of the discussion at each table to be transcribed and conveyed to the Faculty Excellence Task Force.

6. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.

Office of the Faculty Senate
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